QB talk — Will Levis, Anthony Richardson, Jaren Hall

While the Seahawks’ defense goes about proving it’s more ‘Rings of Power’ than ‘House of the Dragon’ — the 2023 quarterback class continues to provide a welcome distraction.

It might not be the other-worldly group the media has spent considerable time promoting but it’s certainly intriguing enough to discuss week-to-week.

Ever since watching Georgia’s game against Kentucky last October, I’ve been talking up Will Levis. I hoped he might declare against expectations for the 2022 draft.

Increasingly he appears destined to be a very high pick in 2023 instead — and Kentucky are not backward in coming forward about their expectations for him.

Before the season started, Head Coach Mark Stoops predicted he would be the next #1 overall pick. This week, offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello repeated the claim:

“Will is as talented as anyone I’ve evaluated the last five years. The only two guys I would compare him to, where you could see it clearly, would be Joe Burrow and Josh Allen. I think he will be the first overall pick in the draft.”

Scangarello has a deep NFL background. He was Kyle Shanahan’s quarterback coach in San Francisco for two years between 2017 and 2018 before spending 2019 as Denver’s offensive coordinator. He was a senior offensive coach for the Eagles in 2020 before returning to the 49ers in 2021.

It’s not often you hear coaches speak so openly about a player in this way. Part of it, of course, will be promoting Kentucky to future transfer candidates. If Tyler Van Dyke transfers, for example, Kentucky would be a prime location. It doesn’t hurt to highlight the incumbent’s success (and NFL credentials).

Yet it’s also indicative of what Levis has become. He has everything — traits, leadership, pro-style experience, evidence of going through progressions, improv skill, incredible athleticism.

The comparisons to Josh Allen and Justin Herbert are not unfair and have been similarly voiced by the likes of Jim Nagy from the Senior Bowl.

There’s also this from an unnamed NFL personnel director, who has scouted Levis extensively and watched him live this season:

“He just needs to continue to work on his pocket poise, his timing and his accuracy under pressure, but he’s one of the more intriguing quarterback prospects in this class,” the personnel director said. “Josh Allen had some inconsistencies with accuracy and timing as well, but we’ve seen how that has played out.

“As [Levis] gets more comfortable and better rhythm in this scheme, I feel like he will be playing even better football at the end of the season than what he’s putting on tape right now. He has all the physical traits and a lot of upside.”

There’s the added factor that Levis is playing behind a porous offensive line with weapons who transferred to the team only this year. C.J. Stroud, on the other hand, is sitting in a perfect pocket most games throwing to an assortment of 5-star skill-players — all while receiving his reads from the sideline.

Don’t be shocked if there’s a battle next year to acquire Levis. I wouldn’t be surprised, given John Schneider’s preferences at the position in the past, if the Seahawks use their hefty draft stock to ensure they get him.

Ultimately it won’t matter if the defense continues to be more Galadriel (“There is a tempest in me!“) than Daemon Targaryen. They’ll be picking early enough to avoid any drama.

I can’t let Anthony Richardson go

Regular visitors to the blog will know I’ve toyed with the idea of letting the Florida quarterback learn his craft, ignoring his draft potential for now. After all — his form is fluctuating, he’s majorly inexperienced and it shows on the field.

Yet I re-watched the Tennessee game this week and I just can’t leave him alone.

Richardson has remarkable physical talent. I’m talking about NFL MVP level talent. You watch him and think — if he can just put all this together, he could be a superstar. He can be a more nimble, quicker version of Cam Newton — with the ability to throw on the run and improv at the level of the current NFL greats.

There are plays against Tennessee where he throws on the move and you just have to sit back in amazement. His arm strength is remarkable and some of the throws he makes have a ‘wow’ factor that screams ‘special’. His pocket manipulation can be scary good.

He is clearly a long, long way from being ready. And he might need college starts rather than NFL redshirt years to reach the required level.

If he declares though — regardless of what happens between now and the New Year — I’d have a degree of interest. I’d be willing to go through the growing pains too if necessary.

I just get the sense that like Josh Allen (who was awful at Wyoming) he could start slowly, erratically and maybe even painfully — then a couple of years in, if guided by the right offensive coach, bang. He could be something very, very special.

Jaren Hall and BYU in action tonight

They take on Utah State in what should be a good showcase for Hall to impress. I really like him — he’s elevated his play this year and he looks superb. I’ve watched all of his games and said several times — he looks a lot like Russell Wilson with his escapability, lofted downfield passes and arm strength.

His age (25-year-old rookie) and size (6-1, 205lbs) likely keeps him in day two but there’s a lot to like here.

If you haven’t checked him out yet — try and watch the game this evening.

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  1. Blitzy the Clown

    The only two guys I would compare him to, where you could see it clearly, would be Joe Burrow…

    I’ll admit Levis reminds me of Burrow, just surrounded by an inferior supporting cast. The obvious difference are the mistakes — Burrow didn’t make any his senior year. And if I recall correctly, he wasn’t anything special the year before, so something happened to him in the offseason leading up to his senior year that made a significant difference.

    I wonder how many mistakes Levis makes behind a better OL. I rather like Kentucky’s RBs, and their OL can run block much better than protect Levis. But even so, how many mistakes would Levis make wiith a an RB like CEH behind him.

    I don’t think of Josh Allen when I watch Levis, partly because Allen wasn’t a good college QB and partly because he’s kind of otherworldly right now.

    Also, maybe I’m wrong on this, but when Levis makes a mistake, it’s almost always a busted play — wrong route, miscommunication, etc. It’s almost never because of a bad pass. That’s to say, Levis throws as well as any college QB I can remember.

    Leaving aside my trepidations about coaching staff and all, if Schneider is all in on Levis, such that we get him, I’m a happy fan.

    • Rob Staton

      Joe Burrow is probably the most accurate college QB I’ve ever seen.

      And I’m not sure I’ll see another player to warrant a comparison ever again.

      It helped being able to throw to Chase and Jefferson — but still.

  2. Peter

    Very excited for kentucky vs. Ole miss this weekend. Along with kentucky’s rest of the season especially now they have their main runningback back in the fold. Should be a wild atmosphere.

    If Kentucky finishes strong I think Levis goes one overall. Not much more can be said about the nebulous idea of elevating a team than what has happened there with him at the helm. Three top 15 ranked opponents to go might make it the hardest final stretch for any team in college…..I’m looking at you USC ranked 6th having beat nearly no one and playing one ranked team left on your schedule.

    Excellent early shout Rob. Maybe your best undervalued (at the time) prospect you’ve ever presented early.

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you 👍🏻

  3. pdway

    If Richardson continues this year’s trajectory – i.e. flashes of athletic brilliance along with the flaws/mistakes you’ve noted — for the full season. What’s your take on where he would land in the draft? Mid-to-low 1st round, or is that too high?

    • Rob Staton

      I think he could still go top-10

      There just aren’t many legit players to go in that range and there are a lot of QB needy teams who will be willing to roll the dice

      • Elmer

        Trubisky lacked experience too, and it turned out to matter. No, the talent level is not equal to Richardson but there was a lot of interest in Trubisky’s potential. My guess is that the Hawks would prefer a QB who can contribute right away.

        • Rob Staton

          Well, in fairness, Richardson is on another planet in terms of physical upside and potential

    • Big Mike

      I’m not Rib and I’m certainly not a draft expert but considering what Rob said about him (talent to be NFL MVP!), I can’t imagine below mid-1st, maybe even still top 10.

      • Big Mike

        You type much faster than I Rob. 😀

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      I don’t think you have to look much further than Josh Allen to figure where he might go. As Rob mentioned, Allen was not a very good college QB, but he had all the tools and just needed someone to unlock them. Sounds like Richardson fits the same description so I would guess top 10 easy.

  4. Leo

    I appreciate that this is one of the few places I can get some Rings of Power takes, it really says so much that they spent hundreds of millions on this project and not a single person gives a rip about the show one month in. Meanwhile House of the Dragon immediately made all my jaded co-workers forget about Season 8 GoT and fall in love all over again.

    Watching the Hawks right now feels like watching late-stage GoT, but Will Levis can be our Daemon Targaryen. Just need a new showrunner too and 2023 will be fun to watch again.

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      I made it through two episodes of Rings of Power. It’s pretty, but I don’t care all that much. That said, House of the Dragon isn’t doing much for me either. There’s all the cool story in the world, but most of the characters aren’t that interesting. The only ones that are that interesting are Viserys and Daemon, and that’s mostly because Viserys is both miserable and a horrible ruler.

      • Rob Staton

        I’ve found it riveting with interesting characters galore TBH

        • Group Captain Mandrake

          I’ll admit it feels like the wife and I are outliers. I think the problem for me is that in GoT, the characters pretty instantly had personality and it made them easier to like/dislike and get their motivations. But it was based on a novel. HoD is based on Fire and Blood which is written more like a history book than a story and I think that shows in the TV show. I like the story, but the characters aren’t doing much for me. Except Viserys. That guy is such a poor king and unhappy person that he is low key hilarious.

          • Rob Staton

            I find Viserys to be a brilliant, complex, multi-dimensional character. There are so many layers to him.

            And to be honest, I think these characters are fantastic across the board

    • Rob Staton



    • KD

      Sorry, but I just cannot abide RoP with crap scenes like this:

      HotD is another story though. Really enjoying it. It’s a bit jarring that the show is covering so much time in just six episodes. Haven’t something like 10-15 years passed in the show’s timeline since the first episode? I’m fine with it for sure. Makes me wonder if the show will end with Robert’s Rebellion in the final season.

      • Rob Staton

        Super Galadriel!


      • BK26

        Nah, it will go through about another 10-15 years or so. There is a LOOONG time period until we get to Robert’s Rebellion. I think they will do 1 more show before then (another Targaryen rebellion) and then what led up to Robert’s Rebellion will be it’s own. HOD takes place basically over a whole generation, pretty slow going for this last time skip until the kids grow up.

        • Rob Staton

          They are going to milk several spin-offs after the success of HOD IMO

      • Starhawk29

        Agreed on the time skips. I’d have liked it if they kept this season in the past, with the young actors, and really developed the plotlines. For instance, I know next to nothing about Criston Cole’s motivations. All of a sudden the dude is about honor after breaking his vows repeatedly for over a year? How is he still part of the king’s guard? He murdered a high-born man in front of a whole room of people! I’d also appreciate more time setting up Rhaenyra and Harwin Strong and dealing with the fall-out of that insane wedding. I’ll admit I’m a bit nervous that they’re rushing the story. Some terrible scenes being mixed in.

        • Rob Staton

          For instance, I know next to nothing about Criston Cole’s motivations

          Well, we know a fair bit! She wouldn’t run away with him. She was setting up an arranged marriage. And now it’s revealed she’s had three kids with another bloke.

          We’ll learn more about his motivations in the coming weeks.

          How is he still part of the king’s guard? He murdered a high-born man in front of a whole room of people!

          His final scene in episode 5 showed him being stopped from committing suicide by the Queen and they are now close. So clearly, she has protected him.

          I’d also appreciate more time setting up Rhaenyra and Harwin Strong and dealing with the fall-out of that insane wedding.

          The fall-out will be coming. There are four more episodes to come. They deliberately kept that obscure and vague.

          Not sure why we need that set-up. The reveal and original mystery was awesome. I don’t think we need to see them hook-up. That would be pretty oridnary.

          • MyChestisBeastMode

            Her first kid could be Cole’s. We never saw her drink the moon tea. Better left ambiguous.

            Go Hawks!

          • Starhawk29

            My criticism for Cole has more to do with understanding him as a person. The relationship and its fallout all made perfect sense. I just don’t have a sense of what he values is all. Is he a Ned Stark-style slave to his honor? A hothead that can’t control his emotions (and thus murders without thinking)? A schemer that used his talent to get close to the princess? Who is he outside of his trauma?

            I’m aware that “Alicent saved him,” I just don’t understand how. Kingsguard don’t have immunity, they can’t kill because they feel like it. And he killed a highborn noble that was a bannerman of the family marrying the princess (also his secret lover!). How does house Valaryon let him get away with that? Blood feuds in Westeros have started for less.

            I’ll admit the Harwin Strong scenes would likely be a bit boring.

            • Rob Staton

              My criticism for Cole has more to do with understanding him as a person. The relationship and its fallout all made perfect sense. I just don’t have a sense of what he values is all. Is he a Ned Stark-style slave to his honor? A hothead that can’t control his emotions (and thus murders without thinking)? A schemer that used his talent to get close to the princess? Who is he outside of his trauma?

              I think you’re maybe in danger of overthinking it. I’d suggest the fact you don’t know everything about him, but are questioning several possibilities, is a positive. You don’t want everything spelled out. You want to leave some things to your own interpretation, or at least allow things to be revealed in time, surely?

              My reading of him was — immensely loyal servant to the princess. A reluctant partner who kind of fell for the person he was tasked to protect. Then she rejected his idea to run away and then married someone else for politics. Meanwhile, something happened at the wedding which remains a mystery to the audience but triggered him to absolute violence. Now, as the princess has been having an affair with someone else, he’s grown incredibly bitter.

              I’m aware that “Alicent saved him,” I just don’t understand how. Kingsguard don’t have immunity, they can’t kill because they feel like it. And he killed a highborn noble that was a bannerman of the family marrying the princess (also his secret lover!). How does house Valaryon let him get away with that? Blood feuds in Westeros have started for less.

              Well, I think this is fairly obvious. The person killed was the not so secret boyfriend of the prince. His father actively spoke out against his son’s ‘preferences’ (so to speak). Nobody will have particularly lost any sleep about that particular individual being ‘out of the way’. It’s hardly a major stretch to think a bit of political maneuvering, particularly by the Queen who sees some value in him, led to him surviving that incident. For all we know, he might’ve been put up to it.

              And again — there are four episodes to go and by all accounts he is a key character in this story. Details will probably be revealed in time. That’s the beauty of this series. It doesn’t feel obliged to spell everything out, things are being revealed along the way and producing characters with a degree of mystery about them is a good thing.

  5. Trevor

    Great writeup Rob! Your weekly coverage of the tip QBs this year has been awesome.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks 👍🏻

  6. KennyBadger

    “ then a couple of years in, if guided by the right offensive coach, bang”

    And therein lies the rub for Seahawks fans.

  7. KD

    So given your outlook on the QB situation, suppose Levis is drafted before the Seahawks pick in 2023. Would you be comfortable enough with either Stroud or Young to pass on a potentially generational talent like Will Anderson, or would you be more comfortable taking Anderson 1st and going with someone like Richardson or Hall who may need time and development?

    Obviously, there is still a lot of CFB left to go, but what does your gut tell you at the moment? For me personally, I am so skeptical of both OSU’s and BAMA’s record when it comes to NFL QBs that I am a bit more comfortable with the latter.

    • Rob Staton

      You need a QB

  8. Avisday1

    You’ve probably already seen this Rob, but Todd McShay was on Ryan Russillo’s podcast and spoke very highly of Levis and passed along a couple of good quotes from scouts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH1_JPgMJrE&ab_channel=TheRinger

    • Rob Staton

      Great video

      Everyone should watch it

  9. HawkFan907


    Seahawks checking out Jaren Hall again tonight

    • Rob Staton


      (Although it wasn’t his or BYU’s best performance)

      • Spencer

        To be fair. Utah State and BYU are essentially rivals and Utah State always get up to play this game. The play calling from BYU’s offensive coordinator can be downright maddening this year too.

        • Rob Staton

          There was also plenty of sloppy plays in this game, from BYU and their QB

          • HawkFan907

            Not his best game for sure, but he looks so much like Russ on his deep passes. I wonder if they got some feedback from scouts to try and keep him in the pocket. He is an explosive athlete, but they are keeping him in the pocket so much more this year.

            • JimQ

              I was impressed with the overall play of BYU LB-Max Tooley, a bit small (6-2/215) for a LB but he really hustles on most every play & covers the receivers exceptionally well with 3 pick sixes so far this year. He might be a consideration for a SS conversion – replacing the millions of dollars “flopper” they traded the farm for? Don’t know if he will declare for the coming draft though as he is currently a junior. If not, one to watch next year, Also, he also throws shoes very well.

  10. TomLPDX

    Oh man…Tua…

    • Big Mike

      Yeah not good.
      Very classy of the Cincy fans to be chanting his name as he was carted off. Not every fan base would do that.

    • bmseattle

      That looked awful.
      Clearly severe head trama.

    • Elmer

      Reminded me of Ricardo Lockett. Really hoping there is not serious neck trauma.

  11. AlaskaHawk

    Dolphins QB Tua is injured and being examined in the hospital. First – praying for a safe recovery. Second, his career is similar to San Fran Fields, third why are they still having a game in Tampa Bay? At least the weather doesn’t look bad, I’m just surprised it wasn’t moved days ago.

    So Bridgewater is now QB for the Dolphins, and what a difference a new team makes!

    • AlaskaHawk

      Okay the announcers reported that Tua is moving all his limbs. Good.

  12. Dan Nicksic

    Will Pete / JS ever draft a QB that needs so much development like Richardson…? Does Pete have the time / patience?

    • Henry Taylor

      This is a fair point to raise, but if are to believe that JS was as much of a fan of Mahomes and Allen as is claimed, then I could see him insisting the traits are worth it. He did convince Pete on Russ after all.

      • Rob Staton

        It’s true

        Allen needed a TON of development

  13. Mick

    Rob sometimes you make me wonder if Seattle is doing as much work as you do scouting their next QB.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m sure they are

      But I doubt there’s many in the media world watching 5-8 full games each week as a part time hobby

      • Ashish

        That is crazy i can’t keep with your detail articles. We are blessed to have your expertise. Thank you.

  14. All I see is 12s

    Not to be insensitive, but the situation with Tua is exactly the reason Bryce young should not even be discussed as a quarterback option. He may be talented, but he seems frail and short and fragile. Yes, he can look amazing when he is surrounded by blue Chip and five star recruits. But the NFL is a different monster.
    I think I’ve mentioned on here before a stat that I think is worth referencing again. Of the three shorter quarterbacks starting in the NFL to include Wilson Mayfield and Murray, they have 11 seasons between them since 2018. They have two playoff wins. Those wins were against exceptionally poor playoff teams in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. I agree with Rob, the Seahawks need to be all in on Will Levis and ignore these major power qbs especially young.

    • Peter

      I get what you’re getting at here. I too am very anti Young. And have doubts about Stroud.

      Short qb’s is a pretty hard metric to measure. There are currently more plus 6’1″ starters thus greater chances for playoff opportunities. But Carr and Prescott for example have one playoff win in 14 full seasons (full time starters not counting injured years). Herbert, Mills, Jones, Lawrence, heck Rodgers is a phenomenal regular season qb and sucks in the playoffs.

      I’m intrigued for a different type of qb. Hope it’s levis as tge qb class looks to be drying up. Again not interested in young.

      • Rob Staton

        The other thing with Young is there really isn’t anyone who is a shade over 5-10 and about 185lbs to compare to.

        It has to be a concern, given he’ll have none of the benefits of playing for Alabama at the next line. He’ll go from the best situation in college (playing behind 5-star blockers, with 5-star skill players, with a 5-star defense) to having to deal with so much more adversity.

  15. Rob Staton


    What a surprise, eh?

    • cha

      Low-key silver lining to the Niner game – when they moved Bosa inside because he wasn’t getting much push on Lucas.

    • Henry Taylor

      Lol just on my way to post this. You having him as OT#1 in draft season is possibly one of your best ever draft takes. All the better for it working out in our favour.

    • Zane

      In a league desperate for good tackles, how does this guy fall to the 3rd round?? Looks like such a stud so far- everything you said was right Rob. A plug-and-play anchor at RT.

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      That play where he straight up just pushes an NFL player off his feet and out of the play. Oh my did you call it with this guy 100%, Rob.

      • Peter

        Tossing that guy and calmly getting back into action to take on the other player…chefs kiss

  16. Volume12

    My goodness. Having a bigger impact on the game than being in a box score like Hutchinson. Only scratching the surface too.


    • JJ

      V12 nice to see you back. Always enjoyed looking into the prospects you found.

  17. Volume12

    2 things:

    1. Saquon Barkley- I had my doubts about him because I thought he always looked better in space and didn’t always “see it, hit it,” , but is he the most physically impressive, complete back in the league right now? For me it’s yes. Not even close actually.

    2. Justin Fields- how bad is this dude? He looks terrible @ everything a QB is supposed to do/be

    • Rob Staton

      Fields is a mile off

      A player who technically was all over the place and needed a major re-work that was almost impossible to do

      Now he’s just a great athlete

      • Starhawk29

        This is where location really shows up in drafting players. When Fields went to the Bears, I gave him about a 1% chance of succeeding. I personally had similar thoughts on Mahomes when he came out. When he went to the chiefs my thoughts changed. Where you go matters. Fields was a player that would need excellent coaching to reach his potential. He never even had a chance in Chicago.

        • Rob Staton

          It’s been a bad destination for him, 100%

          But his issues were not easily fixed

          His technique was among the worst I’ve ever seen in college and IMO he was destined to be what we’re seeing now, even with a different team

          • samprassultanofswat

            QBs who play for Ohio State and Alabama almost never seem to like up to expectations. One major reason is because they have so much talent around them. The talent tends to carry the Ohio State/Alabama QBs instead of the other way around.

            The knock on Tua (because of his lack of physical stature) was that he tends to be injury prone. And so far, that has been the case.

            • Rob Staton

              And at Ohio State it’s talent + having your hand held by the coaches

              They’re not alone of course in that — but it’s unique to have all your reads done for you and be the most talented team at every level in virtually every game you play

              Hardly the best prep for the next level

    • Henry Taylor

      I feel bad for Fields because, despite being a player with a lot of problems in need of a decent situation to thrive, he’s landed on a team that apparently has absolutely no interest in providing him with a functional OL or recievers.

      The guy isn’t blameless or anything, but I don’t think many QBs would succeed in that situation.

      On Saquon he does look back to his physical best doesn’t he, and he appears to be operating in the Offense better than ever too. He’s is a contract year so it’ll be interesting what happens with him because I’d feel so uneasy about paying him no matter how well he does this season.

  18. Ashish

    I like there are few options for QB who are not top choices of Pundits as of now. Don’t mind seeing Young and CJ going first if Hawks are not ahead of QB needy teams. I hope Will Lewis stays under cover like Lucas and Hawks draft him.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Levis is not under the radar. He’s ranked in top three already by some draft boards. Considering that Young is part of that and he is too small at 185 pounds, that leaves it a race between Levis and Stroud for top QB in draft, and of course Anderson if you want an elite defensive linemen.

      Nothing has changed for the Seahawks, they need to suck bad enough to get a top three pick. Otherwise you my as well look down the list to the 4th to 6th ranked QB.

  19. Happy Hawk

    If the Hawks stay on schedule they will be able to pick anyone they want – hope it is Levis.

  20. AlaskaHawk

    I don’t want to appear all negative on the search for a quarterback so I’m going to throw this name in the hat. Henden Hooker playing for Tennessee. I’ve never watched him so this is speculation, but his size and stats are good. Currently projected in the 3-5 rounds.

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve talked about him a lot already

      Inconsistent accuracy, lot of one-read stuff, threw to wide open players vs Florida (who were awful on defense). Not saying he’s bad because he isn’t but for me he’s quite a way behind some of these other QB’s

    • Chawks1

      I like Hendon Hooker. Right now I have him ranked #3 on my wish list:
      1) CJ Stroud (I was convinced after his Rose Bowl game)
      2) Will Levis (I’d like to see improvements from last yr. So far looks the same)
      3) Hendon Hooker
      4) Jaren Hall (I think he is destined to be our pick. RW vibes)
      5) Michael Penix (If injury history was better he would be higher)

      Bryce Young doesn’t make my list as I don’t think a 195lb QB can survive long in NFL.

      • Rob Staton

        I am not a big fan of this list TBH

        Also not sure what was so convincing about the Rose Bowl on Stroud

        I think I would’ve put up 300 yards for Ohio State that day

  21. Happy Hawk

    Right now the PFN Mock simulator has the Hawks picking #2 behind the Texans and right ahead of the Falcons.

  22. Jordan E

    Been a while since I posted here. But I am curious on your thought on this.

    If we can make Geno look decent in our system is the top priority more on fixing the defense (so long as Pete is HC)? The defense has abysmal.

    • Rob Staton


      You need a quarterback

      That is Priority A, B and C

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